To the vast circle of Dutch painters of the last third of the 16th century, whose attention was mainly drawn to the landscape theme, belonged to Jacob Grimmer. The artist worked in Antwerp leading cultural centre of the country. His teacher was the famous master of landscape Matthijs Kok. The sons of Jacob - Gillis and Abel Grimmer - also became landscape artists. Although Jacob Grimmer joined the Guild of painters in 1540, we know only works created after the year 1573. The picturesque heritage of the artist to represent landscapes with the image of farm holidays. As in the vast natural arena, unfolds a scene of celebration. Despite the abundance of small human figures, they are only staffage, animating the image. Panoramic landscape with infinite horizon dominates the picture. It includes a variety of motifs of the national landscape: a castle, a windmill, a tower with a bridge at a pond framed by trees, creating rhythmic accents in a horizontally evolving landscape. Some of the decorative conventions of color, the lighting effects, the propensity to whimsical outlines of trees, the influence of the prevailing at the time of the style of late mannerism, which cultivated the sophisticated art of imagination and spectacular compositional and color decisions. Paintings of Grimmer are the characteristic features of landscape painting of his time. This is perfect composed the landscape in which motifs gleaned in reality, subordinated to the traditional scheme of "space" panoramic landscape prevalent in Dutch painting of the 16th century. Becoming an independent genre, the landscape is not immediately freed from symbolic and allegorical associations. Not only the use of religious and mythological scenes as staffage influenced the character of the landscape image, as if expecting him to be sustained in perfect style. The concept of the `space` of the landscape assumed the incarnation in the picture is a complete image of the earth of the universe in all its diversity, including mountains and plains, rivers, seas, cities, forests and fields. From Jacob Grimmer, as his contemporaries (Peter Brueghel the Younger, Martin van Cleve, the Gillis of Mostarda), the image of the world increasingly takes on the features of the national landscape, which undoubtedly was a step forward on the road to realistic, national, specifically topographic landscape of the Dutch school of the 17th century.
Even more noticeable this tendency stands in the later drawings of the artist. Saved a significant number of his graphic works (Vienna, Austrian national library). Instead of the vast panoramas we met them in the coziness of the small parts of the rural landscape. As I peer at these outwardly unassuming pictures of nature, stronger than them imbued with the lyrical mood. Simple means first drawing the artist uses the material structure of things. But the real life and soul of these drawings are light watercolor tinting applied with great perfection. Made usually in two or three colors, they not only contribute to the decorative unity of the image, but perfectly convey the transparency of the air, typical of autumn or early spring. Unlike paintings, landscapes, drawings deserted. The finished character of the image indicates the execution of drawings in the Studio, however, occur in some of them a distant view of Antwerp says that they pass specific locations around the city. Graphic works serve the artist's source of motives, of which he composed paintings. The works of Jacob Grimmer reflected the stage in the development of Dutch landscape, when from the appearance of the unusual nature, the quasi-poetic artists turn to its casual appearance, the differences in their emotional content. It would be vain to seek in his works the deep, original thinking about the nature - talent of the artist did not possess such power. Individual talent Grimmer look more beautiful than the painting, were revealed in the figure, and in his best works he has created images, over charm which is timeless.